This is the second piece in a series about homes that are “smart.” In the first part, we talked about the things that “smart” homes have. We talked about the major manufacturers and today’s articles, which show how to build a “smart” home from scratch.
What you keep in mind when making a smart home?
First, you must figure out which part of the house needs to be “smart.” Light bulbs, night lights, and “smart” speakers are great gadgets for people who have never used them. Once you know how to use them, you can buy other devices.
It’s unnecessary to update your TV, air conditioner, and heater so they can control older devices. All you need is a “smart” remote.
When making a “smart” home, it’s safer to buy devices from the same company, except for voice assistants. Yandex, Google Assistant, and Siri can work with the most well-known “smart” homes.
The most talked-about part of an “intelligent home” is the lighting. There are two ways to make bright light. The first way is to buy “smart” light bulbs, lamps, and chandeliers and then use an app on a smartphone to control them. This method suits people who have just moved or want to buy new light fixtures.
If you don’t want to replace your floor lamps, chandeliers, and nightlights but can’t afford “smart” light bulbs, there is a cheaper way. You don’t have to buy expensive intelligent bulbs or whole chandeliers to control the same chandelier in the room. Instead, you can buy intelligent switches or a wireless relay.
About 24.38 USD will buy a good “smart” light bulb. You’ll need five of these bulbs in a chandelier with five shades, which is already 121.90 USD. At the same time, a “smart” switch costs 24.38 USD, which will cost the same amount for an electrician to put it in. Also, when you buy a switch, you will need a special adapter because most “smart” switches are made for rectangular mounting boxes, but mounting boxes in Russia are round. Prices range from 4.88 USD to 11.38 USD. The switch is almost twice as reliable as the light bulbs, and the light bulbs will need to be replaced every time they burn out.
If you don’t want to change the switches, you can control the lights in different rooms by putting a wireless relay in the shield. You will need to call an electrician for this solution and to replace the switch.
In addition to relays and switches, “smart” sockets can be used with simple nightlights. This device will turn the power on or off based on what you tell it to do or what scenarios you set up.
With “smart” cornices, you can also change how much light comes in. The cornice has a unique motor that opens and closes the curtains. You can control it with your phone plugging into a regular outlet. Opening curtains on time can be a great alternative to traditional alarm clocks, but keep in mind that the light from the window and the sound of moving curtains can wake you up, which doesn’t sound so appealing.
It would be best if you had an intelligent temperature sensor, air conditioning, and a heater to change the temperature. The last two can have or do not have “smart” control, and we will look at both possibilities.
Let’s say that the air conditioner or heater can be set up to work with the “smart” home right out of the box. Then, you need to add them to the right app and set up different ways to use them. It’s essential to ensure the air conditioner works with the smart home. In the device’s description, you can find out if a particular system works with it.
If you don’t want to change your old air conditioner or heater for one with “smart” controls, you can do one of two things. In the case of an air conditioner, a remote control that is connected to a wireless network and can mimic the remote control signal can be used to control it from a distance. This kind of remote control makes it easy to turn your air conditioner into a “smart” home feature.
For heaters, you can use a “smart” socket by setting a simple rule: “If the temperature drops below 20 C, the socket turns on the heater.” If the temperature goes above 25oC, it turns off.” Make sure that the outlet can handle the heater’s power before using it.
Controlling the temperature can also help if you need to cool or warm up a room ahead of time, like before you get home from work. In this case, you can use your phone to turn on the air conditioner or heater before you get there. Or make their presence depend on where the phone is at a particular time.
There are two kinds of gadgets in the “security” block. The former keeps an eye on people who enter housing without permission, and the latter keeps an eye on unexpected emergencies.
To avoid gas leaks, water leaks, or smoke, it’s a good idea to put suitable sensors in the kitchen or bathroom. Then, if there is a water leak or gas leak in the room, a message will be sent to the smartphone, and if the exemplary scenario is set up, an alarm will also go off.
Unauthorized entry can be found using motion sensors, open doors, and cameras. The second one can be set to turn on when the door opens or when there is movement in the room. In this case, a message is also sent to the phone, and the camera starts recording and sending out what is happening.
Compatibility and control with your voice
When making a “smart” home, you can use gadgets made by one or combine gadgets made by different companies. The first choice is more reliable and lets you control everything in your home with just one app. But the second one makes a big difference in how it works. For example, you can use the voice assistant or Google Assistant to control Xiaomi devices. With one voice command, you can turn on both Xiaomi and smart bulbs at the same time.
The Apple ecosystem can also be used to make a “smart home”. To do this, you will need to buy the suitable sensors that have been approved. But most of the time, these sensors already come with their control app, and these apps are often more valuable than Apple HomeKit. It is helpful when sensors from different companies are being used and don’t work together. In this case, HomeKit will connect devices made by different companies. Also, remember that this kind of solution will cost you more than a package from one company with everything you need.
A one-room apartment is an example of a “smart” house.
This is what a tiny one-room apartment would look like if the above gadgets were all bought.
- Instead of a traditional alarm clock in the morning, he uses “smart” eaves to open the curtains. When it stays light later in the winter, this job is done by a night light that starts dim and gets brighter over time.
- A minute after you wake up, the voice assistant tells you what’s going on in the news, what the weather will be like, and what’s on your calendar. At the same time, the kitchen kettle starts to boil, giving the apartment owner time to wash his hands and brush his teeth.
- On the way to the bathroom, motion and light sensors turn on the hallway lights, so they are always on. When someone walks into the bathroom, the light also turns on automatically. However, presence sensors, not motion sensors, are used here. The only difference is that they are more sensitive.
- With a voice command, a “smart” homeowner can turn on their favorite playlist or the next podcast episode while having breakfast.
- The landlord then gets ready for work and goes away. If someone breaks the lock and opens the door while the owner is away, the Wi-Fi camera will turn on immediately, and the owner’s phone will get a message that the door has been opened. He will be able to watch the live feed from the camera immediately. You can also set the alarm off if someone breaks in without your permission.
- The apartment owner comes home in the evening, and half an hour before he gets there, he sets the desired temperature in the app. By the time he gets there, the apartment is already warm (if it’s fall or winter) or calm (if it’s summer). If you want, you can set the thermostat to control the temperature automatically at a particular time.
- As night falls, the apartment owner closes the curtains, turns off the light (either by voice or by setting a timer), and goes to bed.
- What devices are included in the smart home system, how do they interact with each other and how much do they cost?
What is a system for a smart home?
The main idea behind a smart home is home automation, which makes our daily tasks more accessible at home. Things like vacuum cleaners, refrigerators, electric kettles, irons, multicookers, and microwave ovens, which make life easier, are where this kind of automation started.
A smart home gadget:
- Remote control
- Gas leak sensors
- Voice control
How the smart home gadget system works
Most of the time, a smart home system has two parts.
- The first part of the system is the control hub, and the second part is the sensors.
- The brain is the center of a smart home. It connects to Wi-Fi, controls, and other sensors and talks to them when you plug it into an electrical outlet.